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We’ve been in our house for eight years now. I’m somewhat ashamed to say that, in all that time, we really haven’t made much investment in renovating our space.

Yes, we did install a new deck. Yes, we have added a new roof and some fencing – although that was all covered by the Condo. And it looks like the condo is set to replace all the building’s windows this year… but when it comes to the areas we’re responsible for ourselves, we’re pretty loath to spend money on our home.

That’s something that’s going to have to change soon. Eight years is a long time to go without improvements. The odds we can continue along without investing in our home are pretty slim. Something will fall apart before long and force our hand.

Anyway…investing in our place seems like the right course of action. We’re not planning to move anytime soon. It’s an incredibly convenient location, only a 15-minute walk to my office and to downtown Ottawa. We have great neighbours and a good relationship with our fellow condo owners. And our place is just plain cozy (aside from it being kind of chilly in the winter).

But honestly, the main thing that convinces us to stay put is simply that we like this house better than others in our price range.

We look at realty listings on a pretty regular basis, keeping an eye on properties in our price range a few times a year. The answer is always the same. Homes in our price range tend to be either:
A. Too far away from downtown: That’s a big no-no in terms of where we like to be located (in the hustle and bustle) and also in terms of my daily commute (I’ve been walking to work for 16 years. I’m NOT becoming a motorist again.)
B. Too much in need of major renovation: Yes, our place could use some reno, but it’s certainly not in dire need. Many of the downtown houses in our price range require major work before they would be move-in ready.
C. Not the right style of building: Neither of us is particularly fussy about the idea of living in a high rise (although Junkii has been more open to the idea lately). Condos are fine, but townhouses or executive homes seem to suit us better. A freehold house might be ideal, but downtown, the price is just prohibitive.

I suppose as we get older and stairs become an issue for us, we’ll eventually have to move, but knock wood that won’t be for quite a few years yet. Hopefully by then, we’ll have renovated and brought the asking price up substantially, letting us make a tidy profit and allowing us to buy something more appropriate for an older couple.

Of course, this could all change if we decide to do something wild and crazy like pick up stakes and move to Singapore. But barring that, we’re likely staying put.

Anyone know a good designer and a general contractor?

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